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Hi Friends!It’s time to check out 6 different supermarkets across the Philippines.Join me as I take you through my observation lab experiment...
Supermarkets = Childhood Paradise• As a kid, I would be so excited for Supermarket time because that meant buying my favorite treats - junk food, candies, cheese, soy milk, toys and the list goes on!• There’s nothing really about the place. Just a bunch of racks lined up like a library shelf sorted by category.• BUT because it contained the goodies I love, I was already contented riding that shopping cart asking mom to buy what would satisfy my latest craving.
Loyalty to the Supermarket World wasn’t Sustainable...• As I grew up, I began to lose interest as a supermarket shopper• The experience turned into a chore running errands for family members and buying goods needed at home• I decided to let my mom do the shopping and spent my time doing things I considered more important• Supermarkets since then became off my radar, in short we broke up
Revisiting Past Memories• Today, thanks to this assignment, I decided to visit the world of supermarkets which I once loved and have forgotten• This time, I am viewing it with a different perspective -- one influenced by my travels, culture, experience, work, environment. ..• Join me as I try to unfold the missing “IT Factor” others call it the “X-factor” for supermarkets in the Philippines
• Shopwise is my mom’s go to place because of its wide-range of assortment and it’s very near our place• Big doors are wide open which feels welcoming at the same time secured because of the guards on both entrance and exit• Shopwise logo includes a Peso sign to convey value for money• Store is clean and well lit up with bright lights. The spacious feel makes people want to go in with music playing on the background• It normally takes about an hour to run shopping errands• Multiple cash registers at the exit equipped with friendly staff on rollerblades to help meet shopper’s needs fast
Supermarkets = Jumbo Marketing ArenaThis place to meet your needs transformedinto one big marketing arena. When I’minside it, I can feel the race among thebrands... Who’s the first one to capture theattention of consumers and to actually getthem to buy the productFor Shopwise, we can see here a strongemphasis to influence buyers to trade up tobig packs as evidenced by the Super SizeCampaign
Gaisano Central• Next to Luzon, the second biggest island of the Philippines is Mindanao. I rode a plane to get to Mindanao of course. Flew in during the morning and headed out at night! – Here we have Gaisano Central Supermarket pushing for Pampers Diapers as evidenced by a large percent of shelving occupied• Spacious, well lit, wide range of assortment, friendly staff, less crowded• But the question is: Will there be a strong enough reason for me to fly back and shop there? Any solid differentiating factor?• NO.
Super 8• Super 8 offers discounts to those who intend to buy wholesale or in bulk• The feel of the place is less classy. No air-conditioner. It is more like a warehouse filled with shelving lined up but still offering a wide range of products• Here we see another evident marketing push on how Joy dishwashing liquid can help prevent pests specifically roaches (“ Iwas-Ipis Campaign ”)• There are boxes loaded on top of the shelves to maximize space for inventory• Any reason to come back? -- Since I’m not really a Sari-Sari (Small Store) Owner price reduction doesn’t have a strong pull on me or my mother. Sari Sari Store in the Philippines
Lianas• Similarly, I found no differentiating factor in Lianas• I will not travel all the way to Laguna (1 hour drive from home) to get the same products• Environment here is less classy as evidence by the simple shelving, less glossy tiles. If Shopwise caters to Tier 1/1+ this would be serving the Tier 2/3 market• A more subtle marketing push by the brands via the shelf highlights
Robinsons• Robinsons attempts a more classy shopping experience similar to that of Shopwise• Here is another evidence of the Marketing Arena where Safeguard is pushed to its consumers for unbeatable protection• Wide range of assortment exists, clean, spacious, friendly staff, accessible check out counters• Buying there would be by chance when it happens that one is within that area• Even if Robinsons is almost at par with Shopwise, it doesn’t have a distinct edge for my family to shift loyalty and shop there
S&R• S&R shopping is for the elite - Only members willing to pay the annual fee can shop there• This is where exlusive imported goods are made available in bulk• The ambiance is just a 1 floor warehouse, one could even see the pipes from the ceiling but the high ceiling makes it feel very spacious• My mom’s a member but we don’t always find ourselves going perhaps due to location• I suppose the need for exclusive imported products isn’t strong enough either
What then is the missing X-Factor for Supermarkets?• 3 years ago, I discovered Jungle Jim’s in Ohio and that was one Supermarket Experience I have not forgotten until this very day. In fact, I flew to the US and drove miles with my best friend there just March of this year• Yes, it had a big warehouse ambiance like all other supermarkets, one could still see strong marketing campaigns but this time, it was done with style
Entrance where to get the carts Candy Corner! Check out the Philippine Corner! Meat Section
Europe Pavillions Interesting RestroomCheese Machine Movie Theater
X-Factor Revealed• Yes, still a jumbo marketing arena but for some reason, the overall impact to me was different.• There was one component Jungle Jim’s had that ordinary supermarkets didn’t have... Each visit reminded of my joyous childhood memories• More than the assortment, the friendly staff, visual displays, it was a playground that showcased to me the products of the world, there was a movie theater that inspired me how Jim transformed his fruit stand into 200,000 square feet of shopping space with over 150K international products.• It brought to life an unforgettable shopping experience I had long been searching for -- One that gives me a solid reason to talk about it or even fly miles just to witness and experience it.
CASE CLOSED Now you know the missing piece! Anyone interested to bring this concept to life in the Philippines? I’m sure any other country would want this as well.